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How to develop a great company culture- and why it's important

Written by Vicky Jessop on 13 Feb 18
How to develop a great company culture- and why it's important
Company culture is- or should be- one of your company’s most important attributes when it comes to employing candidates. In a workplace where only 16% of employees say they feel ‘engaged’ by their employers, and 46% of HR leaders say that employee burnout is responsible for up to half of their annual workforce turnover, knowing how to cultivate an environment where staff feel engaged, happy and are therefore productive is of paramount importance in the competitive job market.

How well you can retain employees, and hire new ones, is a measurement of the strength of your company culture- and given that highly engaged businesses often see a 20% increase in sales, it’s an avenue worth pursuing for several reasons. 

Here’s how to develop a company culture that will appeal to candidates and employees alike.

Hire people who fit your culture

One of the most important things you can do to reduce employee turnover and increase candidate enthusiasm is to thoroughly vet them at interview stage. Even if somebody has all the required experience and a dream CV, if they don’t match the company culture then chances are they’re not going to stay long, and won’t enjoy their time with you- which, in turn, will impact staff morale, and will end up detrimental to your business. Somebody who doesn’t have all the necessary qualifications, but proves themselves eager to learn and to fit in, will likely do much better in the long term. 

Make your values clear

In a recent survey, only 28% of employees interviewed said that they understand their company culture well- and if this can be taken as indicative of a wider trend, it poses problems for your company culture and engagement. Taking the time to establish your values can reap huge benefits, as it makes employees feel like they’re part of something bigger, and strikes a chord with people who want to apply to your company. Make sure you’re clear and concise when establishing your core values, as it’ll provide you and your employees with a guideline for how to work and enjoy their time at the company. 

It can even prove valuable during the recruitment process, as a way of weeding out candidates who might not fit the company culture- and as a way of checking that they’ve done their research on the company and what you stand for.

Show some appreciation

Employee recognition is vital if you want to develop a healthy, enthusiastic workforce. Indeed, 58% of employees say that one of the best things their leaders can do to improve engagement rates is give recognition. It doesn’t have to be much, but taking the time to praise staff who have done a good job, or gone out of their way to help others, is a great way of raising morale, and serves as an incentive for other employees- especially as 69% of employees would work harder if they thought their efforts were more appreciated.

Adopt an open-door policy 

Good ideas can come from anywhere- and it’s worth taking the time to listen to your employees, even if they want to share some critical feedback. It’s a rare employee that doesn’t want to have the chance to get their voice heard, and feel like they’re making a meaningful contribution to the company: as a result, why not adopt an open-door policy? Don’t be afraid to open up the floor to discussions and feedback- after all, employees might well bring something to your attention that you think could make all the difference to the way in which the company works. 

Give people the chance to develop

There’s no better way to create a healthy, happy workforce then setting up a pipeline and acknowledges and nurtures the talent in your employees. Indeed, 76% of employees want opportunities for career growth, and this figure jumps to 87% for millennials. Ambitious job applicants want to know whether they can grow into their role, and climb the ladder, in their time as an employee: stoke the flames of productivity and morale by promoting people from within your company, and taking the time to conduct regular feedback sessions where you can keep track of your staff and help them grow. It’ll pay dividends, not only by creating a pipeline of talented, ready-trained staff, but in attracting ambitious, skilled workers to the fold.

How does this relate to recruitment?

Employee engagement will trickle down to prospective candidates. Jobseekers are much more likely to apply to a company if they see good reviews on sites like Glassdoor, and on Facebook, so if disenchanted employees are voicing their discontent then you can expect to see your application rates plummet. Similarly, candidates who go through an interview process with companies who are engaged, friendly and enthusiastic will likely recommend other roles with the same company to their friends- and work much harder than their counterparts if they get the job.

So, make the most of it: get employees to share their stories and write blogs for your website. Be friendly and engaging at interview; hire employees you know will fit and thrive inside your company culture, and watch your employer brand soar as a result.

Your employees- and your company culture- are your most important resource. It’s time to make the most of them.

At 4MAT, we recognise that company culture is one of the most important factors when it comes to hiring and building your employer brand. That’s why we make sure to build it into our careers websites with team profiles, videos and employee testimonies. Find out more about our Careers Websites here, or discover more recruitment insights in our blog.

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